Welcome to the website of Garstang and District Gardening Club.
The club is based in Garstang, Lancashire, United Kingdom.
For more details about the club please scroll down and also explore the website by clicking on the various dropdown tabs at the top of the page.

For contact details visit the "About us" then  "Contact us" tab.


For 2020 Spring show photos and a g m report, hover over "Show reports and photos" tab and click on "Spring shows and photos 2020, 2019 and 2018"

Ben Andrews, RIP

Gardening Club president Ben Andrews dies, January 2020. A tribute

One of Garstang’s best known and best loved residents, former town mayor Ben Andrews, has died.

Ben, a former long serving town councillor for many years, was a retired horticultural lecturer.

He was known for his sense of humour, his strong sense of civic duty, his role in promoting gardening and “green” issues in Garstang – and his sometimes voluminous beard.

He had moved to Garstang with his wife, Susan, to a bungalow on Dorchester Road, the rear garden of which comprised a significant stretch of the route of the former Garstang to Knott End railway.

Ben and Susan had met at Pershore College, Evesham, where they were both horticulture students.

The couple’s garden was to become one of the wonders of Garstang, and was opened to the public from time to time. Ben and Susan won many awards for their gardening prowess.

The move to Garstang had been prompted by a new job as a lecturer at Lancashire Horticultural College.

Ben proved a popular lecturer with his students at Myerscough many of whom went onto gardening and horticultural roles in the UK and overseas.

One of his many former students was Christine Walkden, well known plantswoman, horticulturalist and broadcaster

Ben took early retirement from Myerscough in 1986, in his mid-50s (a relatively early age to retire in those days). He set up a gardening course in Garstang. Those who took part encouraged Ben to set up a gardening club, with Ben as chairman.

“Retirement” saw him busy with both his civic work and his on-going horticultural activities.

In 1992 he welcomed the BBC Radio 4 "Gardeners' Question Time" programme to the Garstang St Thomas' Parish Hall, where it was recorded.

In 1998, BBC 2's "How Does Your Garden Grow?" featured Ben and Sue’s garden Garstang garden. Ten years ago the couple and their garden featured in "Christine's Garden" on BBC 2, presented by Christine Walkden.

Ben had been a member of many local organisations, including Garstang Camera Club, Garstang Probus Club (president 1998/99) and Garstang Historical Society.

Among his other interests were classic / vintage sports cars – he was a member of Pilling Car club - and the history of British pillar/post boxes on which he gave lectures to local history societies.

From the 1970s through to the early 2000s Ben and Susan were both regular correspondents to the letters page of the Garstang Courier, supporting local causes and especially youth causes. They were keenly on the side of local youth in the debate about the once controversial skatepark on Windsor Road.

Susan died in summer 2017 by which time Ben had already retired from the town council.

Ben’s health had been deteriorating in recent years. It was not helped when he suffered a fall outside his home one cold night after walking home from a historical society meeting. He spent the night on the ground in freezing temperatures. The fact that he survived that experience was proof of his fighting spirit.

For a while he lived between his Dorchester Road bungalow and Westwards House, Garstang.

Despite lessened mobility he used to enjoy regular forays for coffee with old friends (including the present writer) at Garstang Arts Centre.

He moved recently to The Cornmill.
Ben and Susan had two children, Geraldine and Simon.

Anthony C, publicity officer, Garstang Gardening Club

* Tributes were paid to Ben’s memory at the February 2020 meeting of Garstang and District Gardening Club, by vice chairman Hilary Hine. Members also observed a one minute silence in his memory.

2019 summer show - photos and report

Summer show August 31 2019: judges, officials and stewards

Peter Wiseman

Peter Burrell

Adrian Whitaker

Haydn Evans

Ruth Cowell

A summer harvest of flowers, fruit and veg from the greater Garstang area was on display at Cabus village hall on Saturday as Garstang and District Gardening Club held its 2019 summer show.

Blooms, veg, fruit and pot plants, along with cakes and jams and photographs of glorious gardens were up for judging by experts in their relevant fields.

Overall winner with the most points was Peter Wiseman of Barnacre, who took several awards.

The presentations were made by vice chairman Hilary Hine assisted by show organiser Ruth Wiseman.

After the prize presentations former chairman Roger Broadbelt acted as auctioneer when many of the exhibits were sold for club funds. Mr Broadbelt was assisted by Ruth Cowell.

Main results

Roses: Peter Burrell

Sweet Peas: Haydn Evans

Most points – class 1 – 23 (excluding above) (Trophy): Peter Wiseman

Section B – Plants in pots

Most points and trophy: Peter Wiseman

Section C – Cacti and succulents: Adrian Whitaker

Section D – Vegetables

One bean (longest) and trophy winner: Peter Wiseman

Heaviest pumpkin and trophy: Ruth Cowell

Floral art: Liz Bertenshaw

Photography: Rhona Giles


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Picture shows members Gladys Bradshaw, Peter Burrell, Lorraine Gibbs and Hilary Ralphs at Aberglasney gardens, south Wales.
For report and more pictures from the summer 2019 visit to south Wales, click on News, Meetings and Visits tab and then on the Garden 2019 visits sub-tab.


Get well soon Ruth

The club sends its good wishes to secretary Ruth Wiseman who has been unwell and in hospital recently. Former chairman Roger Broadbelt says: "She is now back at home, back on the road to recovery, and remarkably chirpy." (April, 2019)


Honour for June

Former spring and summer shows organiser June Gornall (pictured) was made a life member of the club at the April 2019 meeting, in recognition of her work over several years. She was presented with a certificate by vice-chairman Hilary Hine.


Report and photos from the Spring 2019 show and a g m:

Spring show 2019: Ruth Cowell with
some of her prize-winning entries

March 2019

Annual general meeting and spring show:

Almost a host of golden daffodils …. 

A good number of splashes of yellow were on view at the annual spring show of Garstang and District Gardening Club.

It was a sign that spring, 2019, has well and truly sprung.

The show, at The Crofters, Cabus, tonight was opened after the formalities of the annual meeting. Chairman Roger Broadbelt headed the proceedings, secretary Ruth Wiseman reading the previous a g m’s minutes, and treasurer Ian Budgen reported on financial issues.
Details were also announced of the club’s 2019 summer programme and garden visits trips.
The list of officials and committee following the annual meeting is chairman, to be determined; vice chairman, Hilary Hine; secretary Ruth Wiseman; treasurer, Ian Budgen; programme secretary, Ruth Cowell; publicity officer, Anthony Coppin. Committee members: Elisabeth Bertenshaw, Janet Sharp, Sue Whitaker and Adrian Whitaker.
After the formal meeting the "bloom room" was opened for members to view exhibits in the spring show display, with president Ben Andrews handing out the trophies.

Winners in the various categories were:

Class 1, three daffodils in a 7ins pot: 1 Catherine McCallum.  2 Marlene Till.      3. Lorraine Gibbs      
Class 2, miniature daffodils in a pot: 1 Peter Wiseman, 2 Ruth Cowell, 3 Robert Wandsworth

Class 3, any other spring bulbs (not daffodils) in a pot: 1 Ruth Cowell.  2 Delia Hoyles. 3 Margaret Rainford

Class 4, three standard daffodils - cut stems in a vase: 1 Robert Wadsworth.  2 Gladys Bradshaw.  3  Nancy Cowell


Class 5, three miniature daffodils - cut stems in a vase: 1 Ruth Cowell. 2 Gladys Bradshaw. 3 Peter Wiseman

Class 6, Spring arrangement - flowers (up to 12 inches): 1 Gladys Bradshaw.  2 Hilary Hine.  3  Liz Bertenshaw

Class 7, Spring arrangement - flowers (12 to 24 inches): 1 Liz Bertenshaw    2 Peter Wiseman

Class 8, Hellebore cut bloom: 1 Hilary Hine 2 Gill Bergman.           3 Sue McDade


Large Arrangement  (cup) Liz Bertenshaw

Small arrangement (rose bowl) Gladys Bradshaw

Hellebore (glass bowl) Hilary Hine


Photos below: Elisabeth Bertenshaw's spring arrangement and Hilary Hine's hellebore

February 2019

Caption: Michelle Unsworth talks to members and visitors at the February 2019 meeting of Garstang Gardening Club

How does your garden centre grow .... ?

Michelle Unsworth, of So Plants garden centre / nursery at Thornley, near Longridge, was guest speaker at the February meeting of Garstang and District Gardening Club tonight.
Her talk, entitled “How to set up a garden centre from scratch,” was well received by an appreciative audience at the meeting at The Crofters Hotel, Cabus.
Michelle told much of her fascinating lifestory, coming from a farming family and working in various roles within horticulture, including time as both a student and employee of Myerscough College.
She told how set up her first business prior to creating her own garden centre / nursery at Little Town Dairy, Thornley.
Michelle also brought along a selection of plants which were available for sale following her talk and Powerpoint presentation.
She was introduced by chairman Roger Broadbelt and thanked by member Peter Wiseman.

Summer show 2018 - report

A harvest of flowers, fruit and vegetables from this year’s long hot Garstang summer was on display at the 29th annual members’ show of Garstang and District Gardening Club.

Cabus Village Hall was the venue for the event, which attracted interest from throughout the area.

There was a steady trickle of visitors to view the horticultural and floral displays as well as exhibits of homecraft and photography.

Peter Wiseman, standing in for show secretary Ruth Wiseman, announced the winners of the main prizes, which were presented by the club’s founder and president Ben Andrews.

Following the prizes presentation a raffle was held, then an auction of some of the exhibits, with club chairman Roger Broadbelt acting acting as auctioneer.

Mr Broadbelt thanked  Mr Wiseman for standing in as acting show secretary.

It was announced that an award winning trophy given to a member in the 1990s had been returned to the club. Ben Andrews said he would try to find out more about the trophy, which comprises several shields.

Roses: best in class 6 – 8: Liz Bertenshaw

Sweet Peas: best in class 9 – 11: Haydn Evans

Most points in classes 1 – 20: Richard Kellet

Most points in classes  21 – 26 (pot plants): Rhona Giles

Best exhibit in section C (cacti, succullents): Rhona Giles

Most poiotns classes 31 – 51A (vegetables): Ruth Cowell

Award for longest bean: Richard Kellet

Heaviest pumpkin (Class 49): Ruth Cowell

Best basket of vegetables: 1.Ruth Cowell, 2 Peter Wiseman, 3 Gill Bergman.

Most points section A – E: Peter Wiseman

First in class 58 (floral art), Liz Bertenshaw

Most points classes  59 – 61 (remainder, floral art): Gladys Bradshaw

Best Victoria sandwich: Ellen Burrow

Gordon Wadey Trophy for most points in homecraft: Ellen Burrow

Photography trophy: Ian Budgen